Prayers of the People/Intercession on God’s Sovereignty

Sermon Illustrations on God's Sovereignty

Mighty God,

sovereign over the nations,

direct those who make, administer, and judge our laws;

the President of the United States

and others in authority among us (especially N., N.);

that, guided by your wisdom,

they may lead us in the way of righteousness;

through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Worshipbook: Services,The Westminster Press, 1970.

Good and Gracious Lord, You hold us in the palm of Your strong hand, working all things for our good and to Your glory. There’s no place we can go that escapes Your notice and is hidden from Your loving attention. We’re amazed by Your power and in awe of Your grace: You take what’s inadvertently or intentionally evil and bend it to Your will and ways.

So, remembering Your wondrous grace and awesome power, we open our hearts, lifting our burdens and cares to You. For our world, we pray: For peace: end the warring madness that threatens to destroy all. 

For the victims of natural disasters and for social and political unrest around the globe: Protect the poor and needy from exploitation. Give food to the hungry and freedom to captives. For our nation, we pray for justice and honesty for elections in states and cities, that individuals with a heart for your ways of truth would find their way into office. 

We also pray for our nation’s president, vice-president, congressmen and senators – that they would lead us in Your ways of justice, righteousness and truth. We intercede also for those who have been touched by the grief of loss this week. We pray on behalf of friends and family, brothers and sisters in Christ who are ill or injured, recuperating and recovering; we ask Your healing power and restorative touch for them. 

May they know Your presence to comfort and encourage. May they rise up to call you “Blessed” for Your goodness in their lives. For the anxious among us – give them confidence and peace. For those feeling the pain of broken relationships – bring Your reconciliation, love, forgiveness and grace. To the lonely – be a friend and bring a new friend. 

For the hopeless – show them a way and give them a light in the darkness. For all of us, never leave us nor forsake us, remind us always of your love and power. For all this, and more in our heart of hearts, we pray in Jesus’ name. AMEN.

Richard Herman

God of all nations, Savior of the Church and Lord of our hearts: We come to You, at this time, with our hands empty and our souls crying out: “Lord, help us!” “Do what only You can do!” Change the course of nations through the power of Your gospel proclaimed from continent upon continent to every tribe, culture, language and people. 

Move the hearts of kings, presidents and leaders as a watercourse, that Your Spirit of justice and righteousness, reconciliation and peace may flow freely.  We pray that one day wars will cease; but that, in the meantime, You also protect loved ones who faithfully serve in harm’s way. Sustain Your church around the world. 

Keep Your people faithful, strong in the face of opposition, loving in the face of hatred, and truthful in the living declaration of Your gospel. We ask You to comfort those who mourn –  We pray that You will sustain and heal those recuperating from sickness and injury, and those still affected –  We release to You as well, those who need employment, those who are estranged from spouses or children, parents or friends, those who struggle with discouragement, depression, anxiety or loneliness.  Meet their life-needs in Your power, Your love and Your grace. All this we pray together, in your name, Lord 

Richard Herman

Lord—There’s nothing You call us to do that you don’t equip us to do.  You ask us to release those we care about to You–then You furnish the faith to give them to You who have the love and power to make a difference in their lives.  Instead of clutching, white knuckled, onto people and things, we can open our fists to let You take them into Your hands—strong hands, good hands, loving hands, nail-scarred hands. 

Lord—take those sick, injured and suffering into your hands.  Heal those who need healing.  Encourage those who need encouragement.  Strengthen the weak.  Comfort the distressed and anxious.  Forgive those who need forgiving—helping us all to forgive others, to forgive ourselves, and to receive Your forgiveness that heals.  

Lord, hold those who grieve close to Yourself.  Please put Your arm around them—and walk with them.  Give them a shoulder to lean on; an ear to listen to their grief; eyes to cry with them, and someone to go with them in and through the dark.  Jesus—as Lord of nations and Prince of peace—we ask You to move in the hard places of our world bringing hope to displace despair, peace to replace war, generosity to eliminate poverty, and the love in Your people who can share the Gospel in action and word with all who’ve never had a chance to hear the Good News of salvation.  

For our nation—make us more humble and less arrogant; more concerned for what’s true, just and best for all and not just for what’s pragmatic, self-serving and only good for ourselves.  And, Lord, please encourage Your people who live in difficult places where being a Christian is ever more costly—keep them faithful, and let them know they’re not alone.  Today, we offer a special prayer for those whose lives, livelihoods, and homes are in the path of wars, floods, fires, tornadoes and hurricanes—protect them, Lord. Give them strength—again—to endure and find refuge in You and Your people.  

For Your church—this church: give us a heart of real love for all, not just for those who are easy to love …not just for those like us in what they do, how they look and what they can afford; and not just for those who agree with us.  You love unconditionally—help us to love likewise.  We pray all this in the name that’s above every name—the strong name of Jesus.  AMEN

Richard Herman

God of grace, power and glory, and our Heavenly Father: You raise up nations in your grace and holiness; and You bring down nations who go after and serve other gods of their own making. You are good–and You are strong; so we run to You today. Our world shakes–and we are shaken. Earthquakes; political unrest; genocide; war and terrorism; nuclear fear and military tension …As Lord of nations and the Creator who holds the whole earth in the palm of your hand–come!

Protect hostages, encourage quake victims, comfort those who grieve and give wisdom to those seeking political solutions. Loved ones suffer and we are helpless to relieve their suffering. Heal them of their sicknesses or comfort them in their griefs–Lord Jesus: you can do what we can’t do. We ask You to heal those who are sick or injured, recovering in hospitals or recuperating in homes. Restore them physically, emotionally and spiritually.

Console those who mourn with hope in Your resurrection and help them in Your presence with them. For a husband and wife who feel like they’re all alone or married to a stranger: Help them find a path back to one another. Renew a love that’s lost or forgotten. Enable them to say “I’m sorry” and “Will you forgive me?” Enable parents to love their children with patience, grace, encouragement and understanding; and for children to honor their parents with deference and respect. For one overshadowed by depression, discouragement or despair: Give her hope.

Open his eyes to his own worth as one You made, redeemed and love. For one seeking a job: give him meaningful work. For one seeking a friend: Give her someone who cares and who she can care for. For one seeking a purpose: Give him a clear calling to serve You, and others, in your name; and set him free to do great things with the gifts and talents You give them.

For ones seeking salvation from guilt, shame and sin: Show them The Savior, Your Son our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died so they might live, and who is raised so they may live forever. For Your Church: revival in the Truth and in Your Spirit! For our preacher: speak to us through him/her clearly and powerfully. What is of You: may we do and never forget; what is not of You: may we not do and never remember. All this (and more) we pray in Jesus’ name. Amen. 

Richard Herman

God of time and eternity–for you all of time is now: past, present, future are the same to You. 

You are the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, nothing was before You and nothing is or will be after or beyond You; and we can hardly fathom that. 

But we’re thankful that it’s true because it means there is nothing beyond Your reach, understanding, and grace. Our loved ones who are sick or injured—are all within reach of your healing hand.  Please, Lord, restore them to full health and lift their spirits. Lord, defeat depression’s darkness and give hope to all in need.  

For those who grieve—put the arm of your compassion and love around their shoulders, and turn their hearts to You and your resurrection hope, Lord. We especially ask for comfort and give your peace to ….For those we know who have walked, or run, away from Your grace, truth and peace–bring them home again, Lord, and restore their joy and the hope of salvation. 

For marriages strained to the breaking point—be a reconciler, Lord; and help us be reconcilers, too. For nations separated by war, hatred and suspicion—be a peacemaker, Lord; and help us be peacemakers, too. For those who lack the very basic things of life–be a provider, Lord; and help us be providers, too. 

See to it, Lord, that there is clothing for the naked; food for the hungry; shelter for the homeless; companionship for the lonely; justice for the beaten-down; strength for the weak; and love for all. For our nation–Lord, we ask that Your guiding hand would direct our leaders and lead us all in the ways of Your good and gracious Kingdom. 

And, Lord, bless Your church so that we might bless the community, the country and the world, showing Your love and sharing Your Gospel. Keep us in Your way in all we do; and fill our leaders and pastors with Your Spirit. Empower and inspire us all to serve You with joy; and ignite a fire in our souls making us a source of light and warmth in a dark, cold world. 

And today—inspire our preacher with Your truth and grace, so that the word he brings is Your Word that can change our lives. To You be the glory, Lord, as we offer this prayer in the name above all names, the name of Jesus. AMEN

Richard Herman

God of grace and truth—Father, Son and Holy Spirit: Thank You. Thank You for being there even when we don’t feel it.  Thank You for keeping Your eyes on us, even when we lose sight of You.  Thank You for Your faithfulness even when we’ve been unfaithful.  And that’s why we can come to You as we are … with what troubles us.  

We pray for those in need of Your healing grace today—whether in body or mind, in soul or relationships.  You are the Lord our Healer—please restore and make them well.  We pray for those who need Your comforting grace, as well; for those who mourn—whether their grief is fresh or lingering.  You are the Lord our Companion and Comforter—give them Your peace, that peace which surpasses all understanding, consoling our hearts, minds, and souls.  

We pray for our world and our nation—where fear for our future looms large for so many reasons. In the midst of our chaotic world, You are still the Sovereign One whose promises are true and whose arm is strong.  We pray for peace—between peoples and nations.  We pray for supernatural wisdom to be given to the leaders of nations.  We pray for the restraint of evil; and we pray that what is right and good, would prevail–we pray for the coming of Your kingdom!  

For our community—we pray for those who have too little: too little food, too little hope, too little work, too little money to afford a safe, warm shelter, clothing and medical care; and too little compassion from others.  We pray as well for those who have too much—so much that it numbs them to the needs of others, or even the true state of their own souls; and deadens them to the wonder of generosity.  

We pray for Your church—and for our church: for Your church living and even thriving in places where it’s not just hard but dangerous to name Your name; Your church that struggles to live and service faithfully in a world where truth is up for grabs, values are set by advertisers, and ethics and morality are based on expedience or pleasure.  May we be a colony of heaven on earth; a people of grace and truth, a peculiar people who dare to defy the world’s ways, a people who are clear about who we are and what we believe …as Your holy people.  This is our prayer—offered in the name of Jesus, the crucified, risen, and ascended Christ, who intercedes for us. AMEN

Richard Herman